ONE FALSE MOVE Someone is setting fire to Sheffield. It starts with small things – dustbins and abandoned sheds so people don’t notice at first. But the calling card is there if you look for it. WILL IGNITE Soon the fires spread to offices, homes, people. The Firewatcher’s followers are growing and they have one particular blaze in mind – one that the police would do well to pay attention to. THE CITY But DS Adam Tyler is distracted by a case, one that he is unknowingly connected to. And if he can’t discover the link between the fires and himself, he will burn – along with the entire city.
Russ Thomas was born in Essex, raised in Berkshire and now lives in Sheffield. He grew up in the 80s reading anything he could get from the library, writing stories, watching large amounts of television, playing videogames, and largely avoiding the great outdoors. He spent five years trying to master playing the electronic organ and another five trying to learn Spanish. It didn’t take him too long to realise that he’d be better off sticking to the writing After a few ‘proper’ jobs (among them: pot-washer, optician’s receptionist, supermarket warehouse operative, call-centre telephonist and storage salesman) he discovered the joys of bookselling, where he could talk to people about books all day. His debut novel Firewatching is the first book in the DS Adam Tyler series.
This was an interesting first novel, it felt like an established crime series, which is impressive. The twist at the end was clever. DS Adam Tyler is an intriguing protagonist, seasoned enough that he should know better, but naive enough that he doesn’t listen to his own advice and bumbles in too deep.
I don’t know a huge amount about arson (I’m sure you’re pleased to hear) but it makes for a refreshing change from other crime plots by adding a layer of ‘is the criminal attempting to merely cover their tracks and destroy evidence or is there something else at play here?’ that I enjoyed as a reader and as someone who always tries to solve the crime as it unfolds (I’m the same with crime shows, I get it from my dad).
I look forward to see what Russ Thomas does next, whether in this series or with a different cast of characters.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.